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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2003-07-21 ... 3:36 p.m.


Like maybe radiolarians? Or coccolithophores? I am reading The Self-Made Tapestry, by Philip Ball, and it is making me really happy. I am having a ball. A Philip Ball! (Okay, that was bad.) I disagree with the Publisher's Weekly review that this book is "inaccessible to nonscientists"---although I edit science, I have not much science background at all, and I am doing perfectly fine. Ball is a great, plainspoken, science writer, the kind who can actually succeed in explaining fluid mechanics to someone with a super-elliptical brain (like mine). And the chapters are nicely broken up so you could even keep it in the bathroom and just skip around according to your mood---fractals? Bacteria spirals? Atmospheric flow on Jupiter? My only complaint is that on a fifth printing there should not have been the several run-together words and the wrong use of "too" that I found so far, only sixty pages in. For shame, Oxford University Press.


Friday we played host to some out-of-town guests. They were on a visiting-Chicago-friends whirlwind tour and LT and I were but one stop on the itinerary. Our futon loves visitors, but visitors do not always love being woken up at the crack of dawn by the blazing greedy tentacles of Mr. Sun reaching into our east-facing living room. Or the kibble-breath of our cat as she peers into your face and tap-tap-taps your head with her kitty-litter paw, wondering what the hell these people are doing in the living room. Whenever I have guests in the house, I feel compelled to sleep with clothes on, even if my door is shut and there is no danger of anyone bursting in and being scarred for life by the awkward sight of their hostess in the nude. Consequently, I often don't sleep well with guests around, because sleeping in a shirt feels so temporary. My subconscious thinks I must be having just a short nap because who would sleep in all this clothing? Friday night was an exception. We took these friends to our local Japanese restaurant and consumed many huge bottles of beer and around fifty-two pieces of sushi. (New game: Fifty-Two Sushi Pickup! You toss a bushel of raw fish in the air and then run around and try to take a bite out of each one before it lands!) Then we all returned home around midnight and they made us stay up and watch part of the Tour de France, which acted just like an IV sedative for me. Bill is a bike geek and a Francophile and he was excitedly trying to provide his own commentary for the time trials, and I was on the couch being Little Miss Suzie McSnoozy and hoping that my mumbled "mmm" sounds coincided somewhat with the pauses in his monologue. Are there any interesting parts on the Tour de France? Parts worthy of my full, conscious attention? Maybe I am just a spoiled adrenalin-junkie MTV-generation hopeless American. With a low tolerance for skinny Spaniards in Spandex spinning their wheels round and round.

On the other end of the sports spectrum, TiVo decided that LT and I would like to watch a program that was nothing but edited-together footage of professional bull riders wiping out and getting stomped by justifiably angry two-thousand-pound animals. Perhaps the little TiVo algorithm extrapolated our love of car crashes (on things like World's Wildest Police Videos) into an enjoyment of watching hicks get injured, period. I am ashamed to say that we did watch part of this. What did I learn? Bull riders are stupid? Nope, already knew that. But I did learn that there are very few limits as to how big a belt buckle can get.

There is also a bull riding magazine. LT threatened to subscribe me, just to see what other kind of weird mailings would begin to arrive. How confusing we would be to magazine marketers! The household that gets the New Yorker, The Economist, Vegetarian Times, Bitch, Access/VB/SQL Advisor, and Pro Bull Rider.

The other major activity this weekend was painting. My back bedroom is now a lovely shade of light pistachio. The paint manufacturer would like me to say it is a lovely shade of "Zen Mist," but I have no idea how anyone could ever sleep in a room so dense with a fog of awareness, nothingness, etc. I will stick with my pistachio stance.


1. I was on hold with a business that played local radio, and thus was forced to listen to some weird radio informercial about a cleaning product. They promised to send you a bottle of this stuff (a $75 value!) absolutely free. "All you need to do is provide $4.95 to cover shipping costs." I have no problem with something being "free" except for shipping and handling; it's that word "provide" that got me. Going to such lengths to avoid anything like "pay."

2. The other night LT was sort of half-heartedly watching the movie Dune and doing much fast-forwarding. Well, I thought he was watching Dune, because he had mentioned that he had recorded Dune from television, but he was really watching a movie version of Henry V. I was sitting in my purple reading chair (which does not face the television), engrossed in my book, with none of the movie's dialogue really registering in my consciousness, and at one point I said, "Wow, this movie sucks more than I remember. Do they ever shut up? So much talking!" LT thought that was a weird complaint to make about Shakespeare, but sometimes he'd rather not get into it with me when I say strange off-the-cuff things, so he was just like, "Yeah." Later I found out that it wasn't the Dune characters spouting off all that blank verse, and we laughed about it.


1. Yanking on the underwear of baggy-pants hip-hop kids and giving them serious hip-hop wedgies
2. Lifting the wallets of people who have them carelessly hanging out of their pockets or purses, just to teach them a safety lesson (of course I would give the wallets back)
3. Kertwang-ing giant facial piercings, or asking people with big ear tunnels if I can peer through their EarSpyHoles
4. Grabbing ass, when there is so clearly ass to be grabbed
5. Repeatedly screaming WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE


There is a stupid sign up at work that is an offer of chocolates for some charity fundraiser, and whoever made it typed something like, "Be Naughty: Order Chocolates And Support [this charitable organization]!" It even had a stupid clip-art devil and everything. I kind of grumped about this all day, and finally could not resist hanging a very small, anonymous sign next to it that said, "Stop Equating Food And Morality."

---mimi smartypants reminds you that gravy is just gravity without it.


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